General update for Katla volcano and El Hierro voclano

This is a general update for Katla volcano and El Hierro volcano.

Katla volcano, Iceland

During the weekend there was a minor dike intrusion into Katla volcano caldera. The largest earthquake in this earthquake swarm was a ML2.1 with the depth of 1.4km. This is among the smallest earthquake swarms in Katla volcano since activity started to increase after the small eruption in July 2011. The reason for this earthquake swarms in Katla volcano are dike intrusions (wiki). Sometimes following this are small glacier floods from Mýrdalsjökull glacier that is on top of the caldera. But that does not seems to have this time around, or the last time there was a dike intrusion in Katla volcano (few weeks ago).

The earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the weekend. Copyright of this picture belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands, Spain

The eruption in El Hierro volcano continues as it has been doing for the past four weeks (almost). But the chance of a new island forming has grown somewhat in the past few days. The main reason for that is that eruption did gain some strength during the past two weeks. The increased strength in the eruption was due to a new injection of magma into El Hierro volcano. Both at the main magma sill and what seems to be a new magma intrusion into El Hierro at depth. That magma has so far not been able to reach the surface and remains at the depth of 20 km or so. But there also seems to be some dike intrusion activity been taking place in the same area, as more magma is injected under El Hierro volcano North West of the town of Frontera (IGN name information).

For that reason the risk of new eruption vents open up in this area is high in my opinion and is going to remain that during this eruption. But it remains to be seen if a new eruptions vents open up in this area. But that depends on the amount of magma that is currently injecting into El Hierro volcano at depth. It is impossible to know for how long new magma is going to get supplied into El Hierro volcano. But so far this process has been ongoing since July, so that is already five months (or about that) that new magma has been flowing into El Hierro volcano.

The formation of new Island off the coast of El Hierro Island is now a real chance. As the erupting vent has build up close enough to the surface of the water to start the Surtsey Island process. That process in it self is going to take few weeks to complete, at least until the crater no longer gets water into it. When the water can no longer into the crater the eruptions turns to lava fountain eruption. A Hawaiian style of eruption to be exact. That progress is going to remain to the end of eruption. But this is only going to happen if the eruption lasts long enough to build a small Island off the coast of El Hierro Island. So far that remains unseen. However the chance for this to happen is good in my view.

There is also worth noticing that this eruption is a bit variable in eruption strength. This can clearly be seen on the harmonic tremor plots that can be viewed online from El Hierro volcano. This is normal, as the flow of magma from inside El Hierro volcano is not stable and can change suddenly. The risk of new fissures to open up without warning remains high in the area around the current eruption vent is also high. The new fissure have the risk of opening up without any earthquakes and warning. To some extent this has already happened during this eruption. But I am not sure the new eruption vents did stay erupting for a long time. This is however most likely to repeat it self regularly during this eruption.

The harmonic tremor in El Hierro volcano on 7 November, 2011 at 09:32 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Instituto Geográfico Nacional.

Off topic: Small apology

Here is a small apology to my readers. I have been a little bit under the weather in past few weeks. There are many reasons for this. But the biggest one is that my plan to live in Denmark failed this summer. But the chance of me moving back to Denmark has lifted my mood again. But I also found that playing computer games helps me dealing with my current status a bit. Because of this under the weather issue. My blog post have not been that good in my view. For that I want to apology. I can’t promise that this won’t happen again while I am living in Iceland. It is also a factor that the darkest time of the year never goes well with me (Mid October to early March).

206 Replies to “General update for Katla volcano and El Hierro voclano”

  1. Is this just coincidence ?

    Nationwide test of Emergency Alert System set for 1 p.m., Nov. 9

    Online Staff Report

    CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in cooperation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The nationwide test will be at 1 p.m. Central, Wednesday, Nov. 9.

    “A national test of our Emergency Alert System is a step towards ensuring that our nation is prepared to deliver critical information that can help save lives and protect property,” said Andrew Velasquez III, administrator for FEMA Region V in Chicago. “Because there has never been an activation of the EAS on a national level, FEMA views this test as an excellent opportunity to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system. It is also important to remember that the EAS is one of a number of systems that can provide information during an emergency.”

    The national Emergency Alert System is an alert and warning system that can be activated by the president, if needed, to provide information to the American public during emergencies. NOAA’s National Weather Service, governors, and state and local emergency authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts. The test is part of an ongoing effort to keep the nation safe during emergencies and strengthen resiliency against all hazards.

    Nov. 9, the public will hear a message indicating that “This is a test.” The nationwide test will involve television and radio stations across the United States and the territories, and is similar to emergency alert system tests that are conducted frequently on the local level.

    A national test will help the federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.

    “It is important to understand that everyone has a role in being ready for disasters or emergencies. This test is a perfect reminder for individuals, families, communities, and businesses to prepare for emergencies,” said Velasquez.

    Visit for more about how to prepare for and stay informed about what to do in the event of an actual emergency.

    1. Ahem, that system was decided during President Shrubberies presidency, first public notice about the test was put out 2 years ago…
      So, coincidence… Well, I think the coincidence used to be named Usama bin-Ladin.
      Seriously, US is among the last countries getting a system like that. It is a very handy thing when the hork (hooie = skit) hits the fan. I grew up with monthly early warning tests, and now and then it is used as a public warning during for instance hazardous fires.
      Welcome to the civilized world 🙂

    2. What this is? This is a PERFECT reminder that Big Brother who can track you via your GPS function on your cellphone can find you anywhere. What this is? Its a telephone verification that you are being watched.

      Sinister? Not really until its been misused and then you have to sue to get your rights back that you should have never let out the door.

      Quick fix… turn off your phone at 12:55 and dont turn it on again for 15 mins.

      They also never asked anyone if they wanted to hear from this government or about a emergency-Perceived or real. How many lemmings would head down to someplace if they were told to in a email from the government? 80%? How about since they know who the dissidents are they only selected a few numbers?

      Yeah…. This is a test alright.

      1. You know… I used to snag interesting press releases and file them away for no good reason. Did you know that one of the companies that In-Q-Tel invested in was working on making a device that could maintain positional lock using nothing but terrestrial radio signals? (AM/FM)

        Worked great when GPS signals were blocked.

        Things that make you go “hmmm….”

      2. Yeah, I had heard that. But its like those cold calls you get where the computer hangs up and all its doing is verifying the records they have with your number and more importantly you.

        If they can do an EAS, they can do an individual even more simply. Send you an email and tell you to go to the hospital, your kid has been injured or something like it.

        Always under the guise of “public service.”

        There is a new invention out there… Its called television, it has a cousin named radio. Both seem to be working well for the last 110 years. I guess the threat color thing wasnt getting it.

        Then what happens if someone hijacks the system?

        Duh !

    1. Karmela, es un argumento temblor armónico y al parecer va por horas.

      Karmela, its a harmonic tremor and its been going on for hours.

  2. Is this the calm before the storm. I sense something in the works. The political arena is heating up, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Floods, Storms, oh my! We live in a very active time both geopolitical and geological. I have been riveted by the blogs not being discussed by our bias media. The “Silence,” is deafening maybe that s why seeking these opinions and facts has escalated. It’s hard to note who is real and who is not so reading this particular blog is a refreshing ting. Harmonic resonance horizontals our abilities to understand earth and living day to day. Humankind is on the threshold of endearing science in Mother Natures realm. Like many I seek guidance that isn’t in everyday society almost as if we are children to the elite of knowledge which doesn’ t belong to only the few. The cusps of life in general is for all of us to enjoy, fear, and learn from. To those demonic tremors actve in our world today I say “The Great Awakening,” has begun. I commend sought knowledge and the questioning of everything until solid matter is entwined with reality and pure scientific fact. God blessed mankind if those who don’t believe wish to tear us all down then I say “Bring-it-on!” As children we were taught in most cases right from wrong. Knowledge is key but “WISDOM,” is for all who seek. Being prepared should be second nature but unfortunately man is slow to accommodate. I have learned more in these past few years than in all my school days. One of my pet peeves of change, real change not just spoken convenience or solidarity to ones idiological persuasion. Thank you for being a part in my reinventiveness.

    1. Could you please, for the love off all who you want to save, take your religious crap somewhere else?

      I don’t know if you have noticed it, but on this blog people are trying to discuss current events regarding volcanism with the occasional drift to some lighter off topic issues. Reading this kind of junk is highly distracting from the actual matter being discussed here and will definately not help your case.

      If you want to convice people of your completely unfounded, unscientific and unprovable brainfarts, please do so on your own blog. You will soon find out how many people actually like to hear it……

      Thank you

    2. “Thank you for being a part in my reinventiveness” = Bullhork!

      I wish people having that sort of problem would leave us crazy people alone 🙂
      What? Sheeeeep 🙂

    3. @Larz: you, sir, are a complete raving loon! Please go away and leave this fine blog alone.

      1. 😉 You are all to harsh on Larz, in my opinion. There’s no substitute for education and nothing beats hands-on, first-hand experience. What Larz needs is perspective, the kind offered by a cabin at the top of “The Hooded One”.

  3. Update 07/11 – 19:41 UTC :
    Raymond Matabosch : It needs to be confirmed, but I have the impression that a faint red light is glowing from time to time in the Las Calmas sea. The ground is almost continuously trembling, underground explosions seem to succeed in a very short time ..
    Original text : ça demande à être confirmé mais j’aperçois, de temps à autre, de petites lueurs qui rougeoient sur le plan d’eau de Las Calmas… Par contre le sol est en permanent tremblotement, les explosions souterraines semblent se succéder dans des temps très brefs…

  4. Important Update 07/11 – 19:58 UTC :
    Raymond Matabosch : There are tiny red lights on the water … probably when the underwater explosions are strongest. I counted them at least six times in almost two hours. During daylight we would probably have see vapors with ejections of ash and pyroclasts that accompany these little redness …
    Original text : Il y a de toutes petites rougeurs sur le plan d’eau… probablement lors de certaines explosions sous-marines les plus fortes. J’ai compté au moins six fois en presque deux heures. S’il faisait jour il est probable ont pourrait voir des vapeurs avec des éjections de cendres et de pyroclastes qui accompagnent ces petites rougeurs

  5. Pardon my email, I am not a scientist so my question may seem silly. Can the situation in El Hierro in any way trigger mount Teide? Just curious, as my mother lives in Tenerife. Thank you!

    1. The answer is no. Volcanoes that are side by side do not even erupt at the same time. Even if one of the volcanoes is erupting at one point in time.

    2. Maybe if El Hierro had some huge submarine eruption or if it did indeed split from a magma intrusion and either caused a tsunami. Where she is she just needs to keep up with information.

      She lives on a volcano and thats not smart but it is so way cool to look at every day that it doesnt do something.

      Biggest threats for now would be an emerging volcano shooting ash up and then dropping it along with the associated gases on her. All the other stuff comes behind that.

    1. I am feeling the ground quaking in Memphis from the quakes in Oklahoma… I never sleep.

  6. Hello Michelle, apologize if I do not write or speak so well in english. I am spanish, and live in Tenerife. I do not feel afraid from Teide volcano. We follow all news with great interest and what Mr. Frímann and AVCAN website comments about what is happening with the new submarine volcano in EL HIERRO.

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